I know that I should have been blogging all week, and I apologize for not doing so!!!

What a week…. where to begin…

The US Event team finished their final training in Georgia on Friday Sept 24th with a fitness gallop followed a few hours later by a veterinary inspection to be certain the 6 horses entering the KY Horse Park the next day were in tip top shape ready to go. At the time the selectors felt that everything was still manageable with the horses, so there was no change made to the shipping plan for Kentucky — the team and individual horses would proceed to the Horse Park and the alternate horses would be stabled nearby at Cathy Weichoff’s farm. We (the alternates) were instructed to remain prepared to compete until the final hour. It was wonderful for Arthur to be at Cathy’s. The temperature was lovely and he had a wonderful grass paddock to chill out in all day. Had we been called in to compete, it would have been the perfect relaxing couple of days for him prior to WEG. He was so amazingly prepared to compete. I was interviewed about what it felt like to be an alternate. Throughout the training camp and those first couple of days in Kentucky it was a feeling hard to describe. I was very anxious. Knowing that there was still a chance (even if only the slimmest of chances) to compete was what kept me going. I wanted so badly to win a medal for my country. The real disappointment and confusion set in when the US didn’t present Kim’s horse in Wednesday’s jog. I have been asked a lot of questions about it, and I have a lot of questions myself about it. I am really not sure of everything that went on in those days prior to the jog and I’m not sure how the US could manage to not field a full team on their own soil when there were good sound horses waiting in the wings. Hopefully it will all be explained to me someday. I’m sorry I have ย nothing better to offer than my own confusion and disappointment.

So I went from the bench to the couch. And when I say couch I mean the comfy leather couch in the Makers Mark Bourbon Village Hospitality Tent. I was a bit stuck in Lexington not having credentials or tickets for the games. Thankfully for the kindness of my wonderful friends (Shannon Crocker, Nancy Winter and Colby Balazs) I got hooked up in a serious way! The Makers Mark Tent was the best thing at WEG!!!! Excellent food and atmosphere. A wonderful warm place to be when it felt like it was going to snow here in Kentucky!!!

OK, so the competition. It was really hard for me to make the transition from competitor to spectator. The dressage was especially difficult as I know I could have won it. The cross country was beautiful — something I thought Arthur would have loved. I think that designing for WEG xc has to be one of the most challenging jobs ever and I think Mike E Smith did a masterful job. It was a fairly straightforward 4 star track. It was definitely a 4 star track which means even a 4 star horse could get caught out on a silly mistake (ie getting through the tough stuff on the course than doing something stupid coming home over the easy stuff etc) but a good three star horse ready for the challenge would find success as well. The US riders were terrific (bar Buck’s uncharacteristic stop) — leaving the team in silver medal position going into show jumping and Becky in third individually. A great spot to be especially with how masterfully we have all been show jumping under Katie Prudent’s guidance.

Unfortunately Sunday didn’t go as planned. Becky’s horse, Comet, was withdrawn at the jog. He had thrown a shoe early in the cross country the day before and his foot was probably stinging bad because of that. Boyd was the only one who show jumped clear amongst the Americans. Karen and Phillip added 17 points dropping the team to fourth. It was so shocking as I was certain everyone would go clear. I haven’t talked to anyone on the team about it as I’m sure they are all so disappointed. I guess the upside is that because the team still finished in the top 5 the US is qualified for the Olympics. Hopefully this means the US will start focusing more on the next crop of horses and give some international team experience to some other riders at the Pan American games next year.

It was wonderful to see Canada do so well. David O’Connor has done a masterful job producing his young team. They absolutely rocked it all weekend and I bet they are rocking the town tonight!!!!


  1. Cheryl ( in Ocala ) says

    Hey Allison,
    I was lucky enough to be at WEG, Thursday afternoon through Saturday. What an amazing experience!! Of course, being a Brit, I was rooting for those guys, but having met Courageous Comet a few weeks ago, it was cool to see him compete. I saw you Friday at the warm-up arenas, but you looked busy so I carried on with my camera. I was very disappointed that yourself and Arthur did not get to compete. Having worked with vets from some of the best practices in the world, I am still floored by the decision that was made. Cellulitis does not go away in two days and if a horse has been started on antibiotics, it should not run. I think the selectors know, even if they don’t admit it publicly, that they made a bad call. I only hope that they will discuss this and never let a ‘window of opportunity’ close like that again. The course was brilliant and definitely reminded me of some of the Burghley courses that I have walked. My shins are severely bucked from walking it three times, but the photographs I took made the pain worth while ๐Ÿ™‚ ๐Ÿ™‚ I, like you, was extremely thankful for the Maker’s Mark hospitality area. The food was awesome ๐Ÿ™‚ ๐Ÿ™‚
    Unfortunately, I did not get to stay for the show jumping as my flight was early Sunday morning. The weather had been perfect, but you could feel a change coming on the way to the airport.
    Kudos to you for handling this situation with such class – your time will come!!
    Lots of hugs and carrots to Arthur and safe travels back home ๐Ÿ™‚ ๐Ÿ™‚

  2. steve and billie bryant says

    we are eventing fans and billie competes at the lower levels.we were the white truck showing the weg sweatshirt as we passed outside of lexington va monday.we are still disappointed you did not get to compete arthur.and disappointed in the eventing team situation.your blog comments were much more diplomatic than we would make.much credit due to you for your class in a difficult situation.with warm regards billie and steve

  3. Della Williams says

    I am more angry than anything– I left confused early last week. I felt you should have been moved in rather hoping that Paddy would hold together.I felt Karen should never have ridden for the team, as Mandiba is somewhat renowned for stopping. I also felt real anger about Stephen Bradley’s being dissed by the selectors because he refused to play the political games ( can you feel the anger yet?). There are going to have to be some MAJOR changes going forward. I look very forward to seeing you get your due– take heart, I think you are a fabulous rider w/ a remarkable steed! If you are in or near the Athens, Ga area, I wuold love to take a lesson/ clinic and school x-country. Are you going to Aiken or Ocala for the winter. Thanks for listening to my rant. Della

  4. I maybe a nobody but I whole heartily agree with what you said terribly disappointed with our team selectors the only problem that I coulud see is why didn’t you run faster at luhmuhlen do you think that is the reason your were not put on the team